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Rhode Island Business Plan Competition Announces 2016 Winners

Thursday, May 05, 2016


Ed Bard, Founder of Response Technologies PHOTO: LinkedIN

The 2016 Rhode Island Business Plan competition winners and finalists have been announced. Overall, seven teams are set to share prizes valued at more than $225,000. 

“The judges had a special challenge this year selecting the winners, as all the finalists have exceptional promise. They're addressing problems that will enable them to build scalable businesses that serve large markets well beyond the state, and we look forward to helping them grow,” said Competition Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley Allen.

Winners were announced at a public event on Tuesday at the Chace Center at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence. 

The Winners 

Response Technologies, led by Cumberland's Ed Bard and Westport's Dave Pettey, were named the Entrepreneur Track Winner and was named top winner in this year's competition. 

"Rhode Island is well positioned for Response Technologies. We are collaborating with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, nearby Natick Soldier Center in Massachusetts, and Sikorsky in Connecticut. Our advanced processes will require talent from Rhode Island's textile and chemistry base, and our 3-D textile process will benefit from RISD design graduates," said Bard. 

The company received $67,100 in prizes – $15,000 in cash and $32,100 in professional and consulting services as the Entrepreneur Track winner, as well as $20,000 bonus cash award.

PICCPerfect, PHOTO: Facebook

The student track winner was PICCPerfect, led by Emily Levy of Newport who developed a functional accessory which enables chronically ill patients to manage peripherally inserted central catheter lines to avoid dislodging lines and preventing irritation or infection. 

The company was awarded $15,000 in cash and $31,650 in professional and consulting services. 

The MedTech award winner went to Neurocurious, led by Kurt Spindler of Providence. The company is developing a computer vision algorithm to automate collection of rodent behavior data, aims at reducing costs related to this component of pharmaceutical R&D. 

The company received $10,000 in cash and $49,150 in professional and consulting services. 

The Finalists 

In addition to the winners, there were four finalists. Finalists in both tracks received $5,000 in cash, along with services valued at $8,350. 

Finalists in the Entrepreneur Track were: 

Neurotecnix proposed a electroencephalography system for non-invasive recording of brain activity with software, which objectively measures and localizes pain. Principal applicant: Adam Nitenson, Providence.

XactSense has created a drone-based hardware-software system to survey and inspect hard-to-reach infrastructure components at significantly lower cost and time than traditional methods permit. Principal applicant: Andy Trench, Warwick.

Finalists in the student track were: 

Farmer Willie's is developing a gluten-free, craft beer that serves the niche ginger beer market. Principal applicant: Nicolas Enriquez, Brown University.

Vinespect is developing a handheld optical tester that instantaneously and non-destructively determines sugar, pH, and acidity of on-vine grapes, allowing viticulturists to make more frequent field measurements. Principal applicant: Richard McDonald, Brown University.

This Year's Competition 

Overall, this year's competition saw a total of 79 applications received. In order to be eligible to win prizes, applicants agreed to establish or continue business operations in Rhode Island. 

The Competition 

The competition was established in 2000, and supports businesses that have potential to grow and create jobs in Rhode Island. 

To date, the competition has awarded more than $2 million in prizes and today over 35 companies employing about 300 people currently operate. 

This is the 13th time in which the competition has been held, annually since 2006. 

The competition is free and open to everyone age 18 or over. 

Click here for more information. 


Related Slideshow: RI Business Rankings in US

See how Rhode Island stacked up.

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To see the full report, click here. 

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What does Forbes say about RI's business environment"

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Read more about the report here

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Click here to view the poll's entire findings

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The Pew Charitable Trusts

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10th Worst in Gallup's Annual Ranking of State Job Markets 2014

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The 2014 State level findings have were drawn from 201,254 interviews with employed adults across the nation. 

See the full list of rankings here. 


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